Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Friendly match report - Barcelona v Spurs, 08.08.23
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Barcelona v Spurs, 08.08.23

FRIENDLY MATCH (Joan Gamper Trophy)
(8PM C.E.T - Estadi Olimpic de Montjuic, Barcelona)

Barcelona scorers:-
Lewandowski, 3
Torres, 81
Fati, 90
Ezzalzouli, 90+3

Spurs scorer:-
Skipp, 24, 37

Attendance:- TBC

Referee:- TBC

Barcelona (4-1-2-2-1):- 1. Ter Stegen (Capt.)(sub 13. Pena, 61); 23. Kounde, 4. Araujo (sub 20. Roberto, 32), 24. Eric Garcia (sub 27. Lamine Yamal, 80), 3. Balde (sub 17. Alonso, 61); 18. Romeu (sub 28. Fermin Lopez, 80); 21. De Jong, 8. Pedri (sub 14. Gundogan, 62); 22. Raphinha (sub 16. Ezzalzoui, 62), 9. Lewandowski (sub 11. Torres, 61), 6. Gavi (sub 10. Ansu Fati, 61)
Roberto took the armband when he replaced Araujo

Subs not used:- 25. Astralaga; 2. Dest, 5. Martinez, 12. Lenglet, 30. Alex Valle; 29. Alarcon

No bookings

Spurs (4-3-3): Vicario; Pedro Porro, Dier (Capt.), Sanchez, Reguilon; Skipp (sub Devine, 72), Bissouma (sub Sarr, 88), Lo Celso; Solomon, Richarlison (sub Scarlett, 76), Perisic (sub Spence, 72)

Subs not used:- Austin, Gunter; Royal, Phillips, Davies; Son.

Booked:- Bissouma (foul on Romeu), Sanchez (foul)

Tiring Spurs fall to late Barca sparkle

When Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring inside three minutes, it looked ominous for a Spurs side who had travelled light to Spain. However, Ange's men played with the confidence we have grown used to in this pre-season, at least when playing forward and surprised the home side with two goals scored by 22-year-old Ollie Skipp.

Postecoglou left the likes of Kane, Romero, Hojbjerg, James Maddison and Kulusevski at home leaving Emerson Royal, Ben Davies, and Heung-min Son unused on the bench, preferring to give minutes to those who had not started on Sunday - apart from new goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario. All four of our subs were youngsters and a tiring Spurs defence was overwhelmed by the pace and sparkle of Barcelona's replacements which included an exciting 16-year-old Lamine Yamal and a 21-year-old Moroccan - Abde Ezzalzouli. Those subs also included former Manchester City striker Ferran Torres and their summer free transfer acquisition - also from City - Ilkay Gundogan. The Spanish League Champions have plenty of existing and new talent at their disposal!

Barcelona's Camp Nou Stadium is out of action for a couple of years and Barca are now using the 1992 Olympic Stadium, which holds 54,000. This was the home side's first game at their temporary home. The stadium looked half-full for this game.

Former Spurs loan player Clement Lenglet was unused on the Barcelona bench. Spurs kicked off but were caught out when Raphinha got away from Sanchez (playing left of centre) and delivered a cross to Lewandowski towards the left of the area where the Polish striker scored across Vicario's left. Pedro Porro had not followed Lewandowski's run. Spurs were nearly two down within a minute after Lewandowski returned the compliment with a pass to the former Leeds man who fired over.

Spurs grew in confidence, pressed high and had a chance when Sanchez headed down a Lo Celso corner, but Ter Stegen got to the ball before Richarlison. Richarlison won another corner but this one was blocked.

Vicario was called upon again and batted away a 25-yard shot by Lewandowski. Spurs took the lead in the 24th minute and it was a great moment for Ollie Skipp. Reguilon crossed and Lo Celso's shot rebounded off the post reaching the advancing Skipp who slammed home a right-footed goal.

After a Barcelona free kick, Vicario had to head a ball away from the edge of his area, but then recovered to save a long-range shot by Raphinha.

Sanchez made a good saving challenge upon Araujo at the other end. The Barcelona number four had to be replaced by new club captain Roberto.

Solomon played on the right until late in the game and he had a shot go just wide after a Lo Celso free kick. Spurs scored again when Lo Celso passed to Perisic to his left. Perisic's cross was probably intended for Richarlison, but it was too high for him, and Skipp ghosted in Martin Peters-style to head home!

The corner count late in the first half was 7-0 to Spurs. "Ange-ball" is exciting to watch as he has his players working in packs, advancing with short, quick passing, unafraid to play to closely marked team-mates. Yves Bissouma was very industrious from box to box and integral to our progress. Another good move progressed diagonally left to right through Perisic and Richarlison before Solomon tested the goalkeeper with his shot.

In first half added time Romeu headed wide after a Raphinha cross. The home side kicked off the second half and generally played with more intent and control. Sanchez was penalised for a foul just outside the left of the Spurs area for a foul on Raphinha. The Spurs number six also made a good recovery and clearance when his opposite number Gavi threatened goal. Vicario just beat Lewandowski to the ball when it had been crossed from the left.

Richarlison had a shot go just over the target after Lo Celso and Reguilon combined in the build-up on the left. Lo Celso was fouled on the edge of the box and for some reason Eric Dier took the free kick nearly 10 yards further out. That came to nought.

Pedri had a good chance for the hosts but fired over and Richarlison just failed to reach a cross by Perisic. Perisic was the provider again as Pedro Porro fired through a sea of legs, but the goalkeeper saved with his legs.

Barcelona made a sea of changes and after Gundogan's pass Davinson Sanchez made a good block from a Torres shot. Sanchez then cleared another shot for a corner, after which Vicario pushed away Torres' header for another corner.

Postecoglou decided it was time to give youngsters Devine and Spence a game in place of Skipp and Perisic. Richarlison was also replaced by Dane Scarlett. Solomon moved to the left side. Bissouma was fouled on the edge of the box but the substitute goalkeeper - Pena - saved comfortably.

Barcelona equalised following a long ball from defence which was chased by Lamal, who had looked offside to me. He left the Spurs defence standing and delivered a cross to Torres who scored from close-range. A two-all draw would have been a nice result, but it was not to be.

Vicario was down to the feet of Ezzalzoui and after an Alonso free kick from deep on the left, the Spurs keeper tipped the ball over.

Bissouma had needed treatment and was replaced late on by Sarr before Barcelona took a 90th minute lead. Lamine Yamal was involved again as he passed inside to Torres who delivered to the scorer - Ansu Fati. Barcelona increased their lead with almost the last kick of the game. Abde Ezzalzoui scored after Lopez's cross had opened up the Spurs defence.

It was a disappointing end to what had been a good Spurs performance for the first 80 minutes.

There had been good news earlier in the day when the club confirmed the signings of Wolfsburg's Dutch defender Micky van de Ven and 19-year-old Argentinean striker Alejo Veliz.

The Harry Kane saga has not yet been resolved with rumours of an increased offer by Bayern Munich, but hopefully he will take his place in a strong Spurs line-up at Brentford on Sunday.

Pedri and Gavi feature in this Spurs Odyssey article

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